In a plea filed by one women amongst two, who had also been attacked by her mother-in-law following her entry into the hilltop shrine, the Supreme Court directed the Kerala police on Friday to provide round-the-clock security to two women who had entered the Sabarimala temple
The plea sought directions to all authorities to allow women of all age groups to enter the temple without any hindrance and to ensure security and safe passage, including police security to women wishing to enter the temple in future. It also pointed to danger to her life and liberty.
Two women of menstruating age group – C, 44, and Bindu, 42, had stepped into the Sabarimala temple of Lord Ayyappa, breaking a centuries-old tradition and defying dire threats from the Hindu right. Following the entry of the women into the shrine, the chief priest had decided to close the sanctum sanctorum of the temple to perform the ‘purification’ ceremony.
Earlier, the top court had said that it may not start hearing pleas seeking a review of the Sabarimala verdict from January 22 as one of the judges was on medical leave.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and justices LN Rao and Dinesh Maheshwari said it was only going into the aspect of security to the two women and would not like to entertain any other prayer.
The bench also refused to tag the matter along with the pending petitions in the Sabarimala case.
On September 28 last year, a five-judge Constitution bench, headed by then Chief Justice Dipak Misra, in a 4:1 verdict paved the way for entry of women of all ages into the Sabarimala temple, saying the ban amounted to gender discrimination.
Despite the Supreme Court’s historic ruling, permitting women in the 10-50 age group, no children or young women in the ‘barred’ group were able to offer prayers at the shrine following frenzied protests by devotees and right-wing outfits.